Did you ever make an executive decision and then thought “shoulda, woulda, coulda?” We all make those decisions and then look back and sometimes our brain is wired to want to go back to what took us down the wrong path – resulting in making the same mistake repeatedly. Does this sound familiar?
In a startup environment, as we cross bridges and get from point A to point B we want to use a different technique that will help us progress faster and more efficiently. As we move forward we want to burn the bridge behind us. It doesn’t matter what the situation entailed but you have completed the task – it is time to move on to bigger better obstacles.
When I was working with a startup that specialized in on-demand auto services for consumers I noticed that all the employees had one thing in common. They were making the same mistakes all the time. We would decide to pivot and focus on the enterprise, and then when that didn’t work out for a couple of months – we’d go back to focusing on startups again. Then we’d switch to mid-size companies, then we’d drop them, then we’d move on to the enterprise again…JUST STOP IT!
The world doesn’t work like this – in relationships, cheaters should never have the privilege to win your love back again. So, why should a failed strategy that never worked in the first place? Unless your marketing is like a string of Tinder hookups. Then again how is that effective when you are made to love one being?
I see that startups like this one tend to jump around because they are afraid of burning through their funds. They feel they must move fast and efficiently to jump on everything that “could” get them to where they want to go without speculating.
When the company started to receive traction, it was too late. They started receiving traction when they executed a single strategy for at least six months before they pivoted. Strategies are core to a startup business but so is testing. When you test a strategy, and receive results – it’s a done deal.
After watching this with many startups I always suggest them to use this formula to get through their iterations. Sometimes too many iterations can cause your startup to die faster than you envisioned.
First, work closely with your CMO and create a universal strategy the whole team wants to deploy. Then ensure that all the departments are working collaboratively – you may want to give them this extra flexibility. Once they deploy the strategy, record their results for six months, look for patterns, then it’s time to re-strategize. There is no set time for a strategy. I used six months as an example, but it could be than that. It depends on your ability to analyze and forecast based on current patterns.
Move fast, burn the bridges behind you, and conquer your market before your competitor chews you up. Yes, even if you’re a disrupter you can still get chewed up – read Disrupting the Disrupters – It’s Coming and What It Could Look Like.